David M. Smith

SMITH, David M., inventor, born in Hartland, Vermont, in 1809; died in Springfield, Vermont, 10 November, 1881. He began to learn the carpenter’s trade in Gilsum, New Hampshire, when he was twelve years old, and seven years later taught in a school. Subsequently he began the manufacture of “awls on the haft,” for which he obtained a patent in 1832. The awl-haft as manufactured by him was similar if not identical with the one now known as the Aiken awl. In 1840-’1 he represented the town of Gilsum in the New Hampshire legislature, after which he removed to Springfield, Vermont He patented a combination-lock in 1849, of which an English expert named Hobbs, who had opened all the locks that were brought to him in London, said : ” It cannot be picked.” This lock he also patented in England, and about this time he invented an improvement on the first iron lathe dog that is now in common use. He also devised a peg-splitting machine, and two sewing-machines, after which he produced a patent clothes-pin. In 1860 he began the manufacture of a spring hook and eye, for which he also devised the machinery. Mr. Smith showed great ingenuity in inventing [he machinery by which his original articles were made. In addition to perfecting the ideas of other people that secured patents, he took out for himself nearly sixty, among which was that for the machinery that is now used in folding newspapers.

From Appletons Encyclopedia.

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